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Building out a gear rig for a 14' RMR and I'm struggling to decide on a cooler.

I am currently looking at these three coolers:

Where I'm struggling is I love the capacity of the RTIC but it is 21" tall. Add 1" suspension above the floor and I'm basically rocking a 22" cooler. The floor to top-of-tube measurement is ~ 11" and I have 1.5" crossbars (1.9" OD). That gives me a little more height with ~13" from top of rail to top of floor. Apply some algebra and I'm looking at ~9" inches (worst case) of cooler above my frame. That's a lot of cooler. The cooler would be in one of the front two bays of a 4 bay frame. Would like for it to be in the front bay.

I looked through as many threads as I could for advice but still didn't come to a great conclusion. Should I give up on my quest for a higher capacity cooler and go with one of the 100 qt sizes, or should I say f*!ckit and get a cooler that I may be unhappy with due to it's height.

I should also say that even though it's smaller, the Prospector definitely has my vote for design...

I've got 42" to work with between the tubes, if anyone has a better cooler recommendation I am all ears.
 

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What is the problem with a high cooler? My coolers are 20 and 23 in tall. My frame has only 1 bay. The cooler sits in the front with the dry box behind it. I stack 3 or 4 dry bags on top of the cooler and run straps over the top from one side of the frame to the other. My wife or kids sit on top of the bags. A cushy, high, dry perch. And the cooler stays shaded and insulated.
 

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I'd wait on the Canyon Navigator. If it ends up close to the size they have listed on their size chart it looks like it might be perfect. I love the prospector in my skinny 14" but your leaving some width on the table if you go that route.

Wadeinthewater- What class of water are you running like that? That set up might be okay for easier water, some people just like a little cleaner rigging. I don't like anything over 4-5" max above the frame for a whole host of reasons.
 

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Having bought a prospector last year, I second waiting on the navigator. It will be an inch higher than the prospector IIRC. We got the prospector for our 14' sotar with 38" between the tubes, and it left too much gap, basically space wasted that could be more cooler volume. The Nav is listed at just under 42" wide. Puuuuurfect.
 

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Wadeinthewater- What class of water are you running like that? That set up might be okay for easier water, some people just like a little cleaner rigging.
I only use it on easier water - Rogue, Middle Fork Salmon, Selway.
 

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I had considerable debate between the Prospector & the Canyon 125. I liked that the 125 has more capacity but I also liked that the Prospector was wider and shorter. I have a 156D so the Navigator wouldn't fit since it's only ~38" between the tubes. Feature-wise I like the slots on the Prospector even though I can't let it sit directly on the bars since I run a deck board up front.

I still think that I prefer the corner slots of the Pelicans as well as their latches, but alas the dimensions/volume/price were not as conducive to my needs. I do like my Pelican 65 though for a couple day trip.


Cheers,
Dave
 

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I went from the Engel 123 to the RTIC 145. Way taller than what I was expecting and just a touch bigger in every direction. It sits in my big cat in front of me, so no huge deal for me. I will say, I think the RTIC out performs the Engel as the lid seals better. Could be that I can get more cold stuff in it and better ice management by me.
 

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I put a Rubbermaid Marine 150 in my RMR. Width it fits perfect, but it is a little tall but I love it. I put a removable back rest on it for the front seat, like a pontoon boat flip back cooler seat. I ended up getting a second one and attaching my rowers seat on tractor slides to it for a dry box. I use the ice packs in that one for fresh water.
150 Qt Marine Cooler | Rubbermaid
 

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I have the prospector 103 in my 13' RMR.

It just barely fits between my tubes but I like that... acts like a thwart and keeps the boat width.

Things I like:
Size
Low height (I like to keep a low CG)
Ice-keeping ability
Rests on frame rails (this is literally the best thing ever... just drop in on the frame cross members)
Smart baskets that you can layer

Things I don't like:
The latches... though I haven't had a problem yet

I can recommend this cooler 100%
 

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I only use it on easier water - Rogue, Middle Fork Salmon, Selway.
I just came off a hiking support trip on the rogue in my 14' Maravia, three people in the boat and gear/food for five. After leaving the front bay free for passengers, the rear bay was stacked higher than my head. Not sure I've ever rowed a boat with gear less than 9" above the frame....
 

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I have a 14' RMR with a NRS 4 bay frame. I have an Igloo 165 quart from Costco (I had it before the boat) that I hang from NRS straps/brackets. It is in bay #2, my wife a two kids sit in front of it in bay #1 on Paco on-top of table over drop bag.

I dream of the Engel 123 and almost ordered one but my wife likes the tall 165 for a backrest (or maybe she saw the Engel price and wonders why I have 8 other coolers). The good: affordable, tons of space, fits great width wise, has 4 cup holders, has a little door on top so you can access stuff without opening the whole lid, way lighter than rotomolded, and apparently it is a nice little backrest. Plus is has 42 more than the Engel. The bad: tons of space (more to cool/fill), tall (can't really lay/lounge on it), little door is short on insulation, don't step on the little door, and overall less durable.

As for keeping stuff cold? I have only been rafting for a couple years now, so I don't have the vast experience that others do. However, the 165 has kept our food cold on 5 day/4 night trips in the 80's with lazy cooler maintenance (minimal pre-frozen food, mostly uncovered, lots of internal air space, no insulating barriers inside or out, bad organization (lid up and rifling around), store bought ice blocks and with non-religious water draining). Someone just winced.

I put three straps over it, one over the little door that is mostly loose. I would guess the little door would let water in on a flip and it certainly isn't bear proof. It's tall, but since it isn't packed full, I don't think its is COG issue. I just replaced the latches with soft ones made out of recycled fire hose.

Here's an over-exposed pic with a beached Orca. The blue boat is a 14' RMR drop stitch with a Yeti. Looks almost as high as my Igloo.

Good luck with your cooler search!
 

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Wadeinthewater- What class of water are you running like that? That set up might be okay for easier water, some people just like a little cleaner rigging. I don't like anything over 4-5" max above the frame for a whole host of reasons.
A recent Rogue trip. About as clean as it gets.
 

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I've got a 14' Tributary HD with a 66" wide NRS Bighorn II frame (measured center to center). The Engel 123 fits perfectly! It's a great cooler...no complaints whatsoever. 5 days on the San Juan in 105 degree heat with good cooler management (wet towel over the cooler and closed during the day), 3 blocks of ice, and at least 1/2 of each block still remaining when I got home.
 
RMR, Hyside, NRS, Sawyer, K2 coolers, Whitewater Worthy Trailers, Frames and soft goods
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K2 120’s work well in the 14’ RMR boats. The key feature of this brand is the latches are fixed to the body so there is no interference with the frame cross bars.
 

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Hey ohioboater-
8" nrs towers, cobra oar locks, carlisle 10' oars. I am 6'3". I sit on the dry box.
In the pic, I have a heavy family multiday load we have done the John Day and Grande Ronde. Same set up, but no gear on the Rogue and Klamath and it seems to work well for me. I bought the set up used and dont know any better. I love the carlisles when I hit rocks or use them to push off. Wife says she would row more if the oars were lighter so I have been watching for some used shafts:D. Not sure I am responsible enough for fancy oars, they might draw attention to my cheap big cooler. Back on topic!
Bit of a tangent, but how tall are your oar towers?[/QUOTE
 
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